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Thumbs up, thumbs down

January 27, 2007

Thumbs up to the anonymous donor who pledged to provide up to $300,000 as a challenge grant for the new Fulton County (Pa.) Medical Center. According to Marketing Director Misty Hershey, the donor will match any contributions up to that amount between now and June 30. Hershey's description of the donor as a guardian angel is appropriate, since the gift was given without fanfare by someone who wanted to do good things.




Thumbs up to Berkeley County (W.Va.) County Clerk John W. Small Jr., for his plan to open a drive-through window at 110 W. King St., in Martinsburg that would allow residents to register to vote without getting out of their cars. Small said he believes it is the first such arrangement in the state. If allowing people to register from the cars ups voter turnout, we predict it will be copied here, there and everywhere.




Thumbs down to Gary Heath, assistant state superintendent for the Maryland Department of Education's division of accountability and assessment, for refusing to explain why he told local officials last December that all schools had made "adequate yearly progress," then changed his tune this month. Gary, everybody makes mistakes. Just admit this one and move on.

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Thumbs up to officials of the Washington County school system and the Washington County Health Department, for their efforts, above and beyond the call of duty, to see that every child in the public school system has been proper vaccinated. Some parents haven't taken their responsibilities seriously and these professionals have taken up the slack.




Thumbs up to Dawn Brooks, Natalie Brown, Jerry Lewis and Nancy Steel, for the hard work they have done to win recognition as the adult recipients of the 2007 Black Achievers Award, given out at the YMCA's annual gala on Jan. 20. They credit their religious faith, making good choices and working hard for the success that they have enjoyed. The event also honored more than 30 students from the local area.




Thumbs down to the person or persons who allowed a list of police informants to get into inmates' hands at the Washington County Detention Center. Sgt. Mark Holtzman, director of the county's Narcotics Task Force, said police have "reason to believe, through an investigation" that the list came from the Office of the Public Defender, which has denied the allegation. Here's our question: Why would that office get a copy of the list?




Thumbs up to all of the volunteers, agency staffers and donors who helped the United Way of Washington County top its $1.75 million goal by raising $1.8 million. Special thanks again to developer Vincent Groh, for his challenge grant of $20,000 during the campaign's final days. To him and all who helped the United Way over the top, we appreciate your generosity.

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